disaster response; medical libraries
Create and update disaster planning and response materials so that they are accessible at time of need and educate the library's staff on the library's safety and emergency response policies and procedures.
This urban health sciences library has experienced a number of potentially serious disaster incidents in the local region in the last fifteen years including terrorist attack, earthquake, fire, tornado, and hurricane. The library has a standing Disaster Planning committee which has produced extensive policy and planning documents for disaster response including a Disaster Planning and Response Manual, a Continuity of Operations Plan, a Pocket Response Plan, and a staff telephone tree. The accessibility and usability of these documents along with staff training on emergency policies and procedures are a high priority.
During the last two fiscal years, the standing committee has engaged in initiatives to educate staff members and provide a stable, cloud based, centralized platform for resources. A Himmelfarb911 LibGuide was established in fall of 2013 and includes all of the library's disaster documents, links to outside resources, and photo documentation of facilities, collections, and art work in the Library. Online availability of resources complements printed copies which are held at key locations both on- and off-site. In addition, the committee has engaged staff in disaster scenarios (Snowmaggeddon, severe thunderstorm, active shooter, etc.) at meetings to discuss appropriate responses and resources. The committee has also organized training with the Univerisity's Office of Safety and Security to brief staff on evacuation and shelter in place procedures, and other important safety information.
The disaster scenarios elicited enthusiastic response and discussion among library staff members and provided an opportunity for staff to ask questions and help refine library policies. Both initiatives help ensure that staff will be well prepared for whatever disasters or emergencies they might face on the job.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.